IS IT RIGHT TO "PROMOTE" THE SPREAD OF DEMOCRACY?

Over the past century, and particularly over the last decade, there have been many attempts to introduce a system of democracy to countries around the world who use different systems. Iraq most notably comes to mind, but we've seen attempts made in Russia, Vietnam and Korea to name a few. Is this a noble cause, or are different systems of government merely reflections of local culture?

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"Our way is best, your way sucks!" is clearly an arrogant stance to take, and one pretty much guaranteed to generate resistance, possibly even among those who would benefit from the change. And what matters is the nature of the relationship between governed and government, rather than which specific form of government is in place. Socialism, for example, is as valid in that regard as is democracy.

Besides. true democracy is not what's being promoted. I don't think there are any countries that practise direct democracy. Every other 'democratic' system falls short of that perfect measure, since they involve the enfranchised giving their power to someone else, and hoping that someone else isn't a self-serving cock.
"Our way is best, your way sucks!" is clearly an arrogant stance to take, and one pretty much guaranteed to generate resistance, possibly even among those who would benefit from the change. "

If people would benefit from the change, then "our way" is better. Whether we should force the adopt it is another question, but it seems clear that some ways of governing are better than others.

And what matters is the nature of the relationship between governed and government, rather than which specific form of government is in place.

What makes democracy so effective is the relationship of the governed to the government.

Socialism, for example, is as valid in that regard as is democracy.

Apples to architecture. Democracy is a method of governing, socialism is a method of distributing wealth.

Besides. true democracy is not what's being promoted. I don't think there are any countries that practise direct democracy.

If you define "true" democracy as a government in which each citizen directly votes on laws, then no, there aren't any "true democracies". But I think Shaun had a looser defintion in mind. Maybe we can define democracy (for the purposes of this discussion) like this: "any system of government that is accountable to the persons it governs".

Every other 'democratic' system falls short of that perfect measure, since they involve the enfranchised giving their power to someone else, and hoping that someone else isn't a self-serving ****.

Watch your language.
Gordon Gekko:
Watch your language.

Apologies to all and sundry if 'cock' caused offence.
Democracy isn't inevitable. (It flowered around 1910, in Russia, China, Portugal, and the Ottoman Empire, then died.) If nobody will promote it, be assured that those forms of government that are promoted (for example, tyranny) will gain relative to it.

Everyone's human. It's a horrible thing to say to someone, "You're from the Third World; freedom is for us, but not for you." Let *them* decide. And the way they decide is by, well, them deciding -- not a tyrant that suppresses them and tells us they wanted it that way.
I don't think its our place (or our job) to police the world, force feeding our ideologies to anyone. If they are hungry for it, then its noble of us to help them with it. Otherwise, its a meddling waste of our tax dollars and soldiers lives.

Instead we should channel those efforts into our own country.
Japan would seem to be a counterexample to that. South Korea, Taiwan, and India as well.
Ever have someone knock on your door Saturday morning with a handful of literature and ideas about how you should live your life? You turn them away and they come back a few weeks later....that sucks. Thats when you start calling the dog on them and putting out signs and conflict begins.
If you define "true" democracy as a government in which each citizen directly votes on laws, then no, there aren't any "true democracies". But I think Shaun had a looser defintion in mind. Maybe we can define democracy (for the purposes of this discussion) like this: "any system of government that is accountable to the persons it governs".

The problem with that definition is that in the same way there I can't think of any countries that practise what wikipedia informs me is actually called 'direct democracy', I also can't think of any country whose government is actually accountable to the persons it governs. Or at least not directly. Accountable to other elected representatives, perhaps, but not the common man in the street. Try demanding full accountability from your own government on any contentious issue, and let me know how soon you can define it as a democracy by that definition.

All of which makes it harder to take the moral high ground when we prance around the world with big guns telling people: "Adopt something a bit like democracy, but not actually democracy because that's too tricky to organise, so a system like ours, which calls itself democracy, but which is, in truth, more like oligarchy... or else."

The only truly fair systems of government are direct democracy, anarchy and a benevolent dictatorship with me as dictator. And direct democracy and anarchy are pretty weak. A direct democracy would be equivalent of majority rule (which is tantamount to minority repression), and anarchy almost inevitably leads to feudalism. And any system which puts people other than me in power over me is in question, because I can't know they have anything other than their own interests at heart.

That's always been the problem with communism as practised in the real world. It all seems very jolly, with that whole 'that which there is going to those who need it' approach, but pretty soon the people who decide who needs what decide they need a lot of whatever's going, and everyone else can probably just make do.

Representative democracy is equally flawed because of a number of reasons, (a key one of which being the party political system but that's probably another debate), the main one here being that politicians can use their positions to profit themselves. Just like those dodgy communists. That invites entirely the wrong sort of people into politics.
From a human aspect, we ought not be meddling in their affairs. However, politics is a complicated game, and the human side is often lost. For the sake of international goals, nations often step in either overtly or covertly and, on some level, affect change in other nations, as we have seen throughout human history. So, from a human standpoint, it would depend on the will of the people and the situation as to whether we should promote democracy. From a political standpoint, it depends on the international climate and situation, but often it is in our interest as a nation to, on some level, influence another nation. Now, whether that usually works well, no, not really, it usually backfires terribly.
This question can be answered in various levels. By promoting the "spread of democracy" are we promoting was all men are entitled to and that is the fact that all men are created equal and should be free to determine their own state and worth in life? Or are we talking about how what type of government rule should be established to govern the people that government in place to serve?

If we are to be promoting anything it should be the republic form of government where the people govern and the elected official work for the people and not the other way around (which is currently happening regardless of your political affiliation). In a republic form of government which the United States was founded on is the people rule not a majority rule in a democratic form of government. The people decide not the majority.

So the answer to this question is not whether we should mettle in others affairs or promote democracy, but rather instill in a man (person) that they their life is valued and that all men should be free to live under a republic form government (the people have the impact on the government and not the government having an impact on the people) and that the majority rule is not a good form to live under since that can and most likely will lead to ochlocracy.
I like to look at things from a tactical perspective. Is it really a benevolent reason that we go around swinging our big stick. I think that democracy peddling is just a means to an end. The ability to create "friends" or "allies" or "indentured service countries". By doing this we allow a buffer between us and would be enemies as well as limit possible other enemies. For example South Korea, we still hold garrison there and constantly vie with North Korea to contain their missile program. It also allows for a buffer between Russia, China and the US, by having troopers in South Korea, its like constantly having our dukes up. We are using the same tactic in the middle east. I have always felt that Iraq was just a big roach motel. By placing us the US troopers in one central location we were the bait and the trap. The terrorists check in but they don't check out. By having such a foothold in the middle east we are finding it very simple to bring our enemies to our fight on the ground we want it to take place on. I think that is why we use the spread of democracy. Now whether it is right for us to force it on others... probably not. Is it right and good for the US in return, most of the time. I am all for having a war in somebodyelses' back yard.

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